Monthly Archives: June 2012

Book Review (Part 2): Greet the Dawn:The Lakota Way – by S.D.Nelson

Today I am doing something a little different. I’m posting a second part to one of my reviews – Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way by S. D. Nelson. Please be sure to refer to part one of my review HERE to gain a more complete appreciation of this book.

Greet the Dawn the Lakota WayThe reason I am doing part two is because I want you to get a taste of some of the astounding illustrations created by Mr. Nelson, the author of the book. After sending a request to the Marketing Director of South Dakota Historical Society Press  – where this wonderful picture book was published – I received gracious permission and the illustrations I selected to post on my blog. (Thank you, Martyn Beeny!) Please visit their website HERE.

All the pages in Greet The Dawn: The Lakota Way are fully illustrated, edge to edge, in gorgeous colour.

Here are three for you to admire and … ENJOY!

You can find Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Greet The Dawn The Lakota Way – by S. D. Nelson

Book: Greet The Dawn The Lakota Way
Author/Illustrator: S. D. Nelson
Publisher: South Dakota State Historical Society Press
Date: June 1, 2012
Genre: Children’s picture book (for ages 4-9)
Pages: 48
Price: $18.95; hardcover
My Rating: absolutely gorgeous book for all ages!

I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

Hardcover with matching dust jacket, this gorgeous book is wider than it is high. Every page, and I mean EVERY page, is completely illustrated. And oh my! The full-colour illustrations are astounding – bright, beautiful depictions filled with meaning and expression of the spiritual experience of living a balanced life the Lakota way.

S. D. Nelson begins with an introduction that prepares the reader for the wonder about to be discovered on the following pages. Each page is part of the story in motion – fluid, rhythmic, almost alive with the tale being shared. The reader learns a little about the Lakotas and what it is to be in harmony with all of Nature.

Some of the story is told in the beautiful Lakota language with English translation. One can almost hear the rhythm of drums and chanting voices.

Today most Lakota people live in three of the states of the USA, and in one of the provinces of Canada. I found a site you may find of interest for further information.

S. D. Nelson of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is an award-winning author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. Greet The Dawn The Lakota Way is one to treasure, which I hope you will discover for yourself as it can now be purchased here or pre-ordered (at least on Amazon).

You can find Greet The Dawn The Lakota Way on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Beyond Molasses Creek – by Nicole Seitz

Book: Beyond Molasses Creek
Author: Nicole Seitz
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: January 31, 2012
Genre: general fiction
Pages: 312; paperback
Price: $15.99
My Rating: an intriguing story that draws the reader in
 

I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

The dedication in this book reads: To those who long to be free.

This story is told from the individual voices of its three most prominent characters, Ally, Vesey, and Sunila.  It begins when Ally and Vesey are children – when white children are not to be friends with black children – so theirs is a secret friendship until they are found out and Vesey pays the penalty in a volatile climate of racism. Later, Ally travelled the world over when her heart’s desire could not be attained, and now at sixty years of age she comes home to South Carolina because her father died.

The tragedies and disappointments that affected Ally’s life led to her searching for peace from “the gods”, even though she was brought up to know the true God of peace. Vesey, who lives across the river – Molasses Creek – suffered poverty and racism, but he knows Jesus Christ as his source of peace. Then there is Sunila, twenty years younger but also searching for freedom and peace in her life of hard labour in India and the racism of caste in that country. Because of an unfortunate event connected with Ally (which in real life probably would not occur – but this is fiction), her life is not what it should have been.

The author has written an intriguing tale. It took me awhile to get into the story because of how it is broken up – into short chapters that jump from one person to another – but once I caught on to this it was easier to keep track. The story gradually picks up momentum, and layer upon layer the questions that are raised are answered.

One thing that bothered me was the hinting about the Lord but the outright repetitiveness about the idols and gods of man-made religions, with not much of a decision made when it was obvious the Lord answered Ally’s heart’s cries. She thanked God but it did not seem to be much more than saying, oh, He IS real. Perhaps the reader is supposed to understand that through all of Ally’s searching God was waiting for her all along.

Another thing that bothered me – and I’m being careful to not write spoilers into this review – is that Ally told a whopper of a lie near the end of the story, which I felt was very dishonouring to her friend who was an honest man. It just seemed shockingly wrong and could only lead to more pain. It simply made no sense to not tell the truth.

If you are looking for a Christian book, Beyond Molasses Creek is not near the top of my list. But if you are looking for a different kind of fiction, this could satisfy that hunger. I will say that I was moved to tears in a few places, so it definitely was not a total letdown. The reader can get pulled into the story, and I found that once past the halfway point I wanted to skip ahead to find out some things because of what was unfolding a little too slowly for my liking. (I resisted and stayed the course, though.)

Nicole Seitz has written an emotionally charged novel that I actually enjoyed, despite the points I mentioned above. I wouldn’t mind reading more of her books.

You can find Beyond Molasses Creek listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 
 

Summer is here! Add to the list with YOUR fave summer words

WELCOME — BEAUTIFUL, LONG-AWAITED SUMMER!

I’m so glad you’re here!

SUMMER …  sunshine, sweet-smelling flowers and grasses, fresh fruit,

 

glorious colours,  bird songs, new growing things, baby animals,

 

beaches and sand …

 

and so, so, so much more.

This post is going to be different.

I want YOU, dear reader, to add in the comments section YOUR favourite words, memories, sensations that speak to you of Summer.  Close your eyes and imagine … breathe it in …

Let your creative spirit soar. I am eager to share in what Summer means to you.  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: The Brevity of Roses – by Linda Cassidy Lewis

Book: The Brevity of Roses
Author: Linda Cassidy Lewis
Publisher: Two-Four-Six Publishing
Date: April 2, 2011
Genre: Women’s fiction
Pages: 362
Price: $13.55 paperback; $3.99 on Kindle
My Rating: A satisfying story that pulls the reader in and doesn’t let her/him go.
 

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Oh my! When I finished reading The Brevity of Roses I felt as if I had spent an enjoyable afternoon viewing a delectable movie! Even yet, several days later, I woke one morning with that sense of having just been there.

This story pulled me in from the beginning and held me till the end. Linda Cassidy Lewis’ characters come across as genuine with their human struggles – emotional pain, loss, fear, tenderness, misunderstanding, desire, avoidance, family strife, anger, hope, love, and I may have missed mentioning a few. The romantic scenes are well-written, not explicit or over the top. There is some cursing in the story, mostly the ‘f’ word, but it was not out-of-place as you get to know the characters, and I could get past it after the first couple of times. It is not excessive and did not detract from the story at all.

There are three main characters: Meredith I liked, even though the turn of events surrounding her shocked and disappointed/saddened me. Jalal I grew to like; I wanted to follow him closely throughout the book because he was intriguing, although I wanted him to stop being stubborn about his relationship with his father and be mature about it so he could gain perspective for his life. Renee I didn’t appreciate at first – when she showed up where it seemed she shouldn’t be – but then the situation is clarified and she grew on me.

The other characters intertwining around the main ones add so much to the story and help make it well-rounded, believable, down-to-earth. Conversations are natural and easily understood, as if the reader is standing in the room listening in.

A lovely strength in The Brevity of Roses is the importance of family, food, and traditions, with cultural differences finding their place, their blend, in the preparation of meals and recipes – whether for two or twenty.

There is so much that makes this fiction seem like the true story of a few people, but I cannot say more about it or I will give too much away. If you enjoy romance novels that are not x-rated, and real-to-life women’s fiction, you will probably really enjoy this one.

Linda Cassidy Lewis delivered a debut novel that satisfies and also left this reader-reviewer hoping for more from this talented author.

You can find The Brevity of Roses listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Very important writer’s exercises!

Just a short post this time to let you know of some very important writer’s exercises … brought to my attention by Steve Vernon.  Thanks, Steve!

Steve shared on his blog (Yours in Storytelling) about these very important writer’s exercises, and I think it is something I should share with you. I hope you find this short video to be of benefit.  😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZJHqsjIec0&feature=player_embedded#!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Does duct tape (or duck tape) help your writing?

I LIKE DUCT TAPE.

I can’t tell you specifically why, but I really like duct tape. I find uses for it quite often. If something is broken or loose or needs a patch, I’ll be the one to say, “Did you try duct tape? Use duct tape on it.”

Often I have heard it called “duck tape”, which makes me laugh. Apparently it has been called one or the other since the 1940’s, and was useful as duck tape to WWII soldiers.

Have you ever watched The Red Green Show? It’s a popular Canadian sitcom that was on television from 1991 to 2006 in Canada and the United States – and continues in reruns. The main character, Red Green, found all kinds of crazy and ingenious ways to use duct tape. He would say it’s “the handyman’s secret weapon” because his motto was “if women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.”

I have been saying for some time now that I have to find some duct tape in a colour other than the usual grey, and I want pink. Just because I like pink.

Look at what my daughter found when she was shopping in a local  hardware store recently —

Oh … my!  A whole display. And look at all the colours and patterns! She likes the zebra one — second one in on the bottom left.

I told my husband about it, and when I came home for my week off — look at what he had bought for me —

PINK DUCT TAPE!  What a guy!  🙂

Now take a closer look —

The company picked up on the other name and marketed it. Duck tape duct tape. How clever! And the pink is called Funky Flamingo.  Hilarious!

How can I relate this to writing?  …

Have you ever been writing along and suddenly you are on what seems a totally wrong path for your story?

Perhaps your character starts acting out in a way you didn’t plan, or the plot takes an unexpected turn. Instead of trying to pull it all back to what you first had in mind, try going with it, ‘market it.’ Maybe that duct tape you thought you had turns out to be a roll of duck tape. Doubly good. Underneath it is the same, but on the surface you are about to go on a wonderful adventure that will be even more meaningful when pieced together.

Have you ever started out with one idea and ended up with something entirely different? Or with added twists that make your story even better?

Remember, duct tape … or duck tape … is used to hold things together, and to repair things, and to create new things. Have you used any lately, figuratively or for real? What difference did it make?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂